Category Archives: Corruption

Two little-known ways GOP tax bill would make chasm between rich and poor even wider

Daniel Hemel, University of Chicago

The tax bill passed by the Senate in the wee hours of Dec. 2 will – if it becomes law – widen the gap between the rich and the poor at a time when income inequality is already approaching historic heights.

Initially, most U.S. households are likely to experience a modest tax cut under the Senate plan. However by 2027, the average family earning less than US$50,000 would pay about $250 more in taxes under the Senate plan, while the average family earning more than $1 million would experience a tax cut topping $8,000 a year, according to estimates from Congress’s own Joint Committee on Taxation.

Yet even those stark statistics understate the full impact of the Senate bill on long-term inequality in the United States.

In my own research, I examine the relationship between the tax system and inequality. In my view, there are two significant reasons why the bill’s impact will be even more dramatic – and even more regressive – than the Joint Committee on Taxation’s estimates suggest.

Painful triggers

First, under a 2010 law known as the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act, or PAYGO, the revenue losses resulting from the Senate bill would trigger automatic cuts in federal spending.

The program that would be most affected by the automatic cuts is Medicare, whose budget would be slashed by more than $25 billion a year. Other programs that would experience deep cuts include vocational training for individuals with disabilities, block grants for foster care and Meals on Wheels and federal funding for historically black colleges and universities.

Because lower- and middle-income families rely more heavily on these programs than wealthier Americans, these spending cuts would amplify the regressive consequences of the tax-side changes.

In theory, Congress could forestall these cuts by passing legislation that waives the PAYGO law. But such legislation would require 60 votes to overcome a Senate filibuster, and it is far from clear that the votes in favor of waiver are there.

And in any event, a PAYGO waiver would not change the fact that the tax bill increases the federal deficit by more than $1.4 trillion over the next decade. Spending cuts to social safety net programs would likely have to come at some point, and when they do, lower- and middle-income families are likely to bear the brunt.

Broadly similar legislation passed by the House last month would trigger automatic cuts as well. Because the House bill violates Senate procedural rules, the final legislation is likely to resemble the Senate’s package more closely than the House’s version.

Apples can help explain how tax bill would worsen inequality.
Magnus Binnerstam/

A long-term impact

The second reason why the Joint Committee on Taxation’s estimates understate the full impact of the tax bill on inequality is a subtle but significant change made by the Senate bill that would hit lower- and middle-income families hard over the coming decades. Much of the impact would be felt after 2027, while the committee’s forecasts look only 10 years out.

The rather technical change is a shift in the inflation measure that would be used to determine certain deductions and tax bracket thresholds going forward.

Historically, the federal tax code has used a measure known as the fixed-weight consumer price index to calculate inflation. Fixed-weight CPI measures the change in the price of a fixed basket of goods over time. The Senate bill switches to a measure known as chained CPI, which accounts for the fact that as the prices of some goods rise, consumers shift toward cheaper substitutes.

One example often used to illustrate the difference between fixed-weight and chained CPI involves Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples: If the price of Granny Smith apples rises, consumers will buy fewer of those and more of the Red Delicious variety. Fixed-weight CPI would continue to measure inflation based on Granny Smiths; chained CPI accounts for the fact that consumption patterns have changed.

From a practical perspective, the primary difference between fixed-weight CPI and chained CPI is that the former rises faster than the latter. According to the fixed-weight measure currently used by the federal government, prices have increased by 45.7 percent since 2000. According to chained CPI, the increase was 39.7 percent.

The bottom line: For lower- and middle-income families, switching to chained CPI means that the standard deduction and the value of the earned income tax credit, both of which are indexed to inflation, would be smaller than if the fixed-weight measure had been retained. This effect will become more dramatic with each succeeding decade.

To be sure, switching from fixed-weight to chained CPI saves the federal government money. The Senate bill uses this money to offset the long-term costs of corporate tax cuts. But because the change is so subtle, many Americans will not realize that they are – in effect – being asked to pay from their own pockets to pad corporate profits.

The ConversationRather than addressing the problem of rising income inequality, the Senate bill manages to speed up that trend while covering its own tracks.

Daniel Hemel, Assistant Professor of Law, University of Chicago

Federal Election Fraud Case Filed In Ohio to Halt Electronic Voting On Election Day

Election Justice USA reports that Ohio lawyer Cliff Arnebeck has filed a lawsuit against Ohio Secretary of State and Election Systems & Software to halt electronic voting

Ohio election fraud lawyer Cliff Arnebeck (see our interview with him) filed a case against the Ohio Secretary of State in an effort to retain the voting rights of African Americans, who Arnebeck claims have been at repeated risk of election fraud by use of electronic voting equipment that has not been properly certified and tested, thereby rendering this equipment vulnerable to hacking, vote dilution based on race in the notorious swing state. The case is set to be heard tomorrow, November 8th, otherwise known as the day everyone in the United States can’t wait to get over with.

The case asks for a temporary restraining order from the use of electronic voting machines  in Ohio, which, if granted, will undoubtedly delay the election in Ohio. EJUSA states that, according to the filing, Ohio has again permitted “last minute third party or manufacturer changes to electronic voting equipment that has not been certified in accordance with state law.”

Arnebeck has said repeatedly that he plans to file a RICO (racketeering) case against Hillary Clinton, Karl Rove, and those associated with the electronic voting machines such as software developer Mikey Cunnyngham.  Arnebeck claimed in his interview with Cosmoso that Rove and his “operatives” have assassinated Arnebeck’s witnesses every time he gets close to filing this case every election year.  When asked how he plans to prove these assassinations took place, Arnebeck said, “I don’t have to prove that, what I have to prove is the election stealing, which I can do.”

The RICO case has yet to be filed, so it’s possible that Arnebeck and EJUSA do not have enough data to file yet and Arnebeck is using this restraining order as a last-ditch effort before the election to delay the polling in the name of restoring democracy.

EJUSA has broken the story, but with no references to verify the details of the case as of yet. A search of Ohio records currently does not show any record of the filing.

North Dakota Sheriff Paul Laney Lies Through His Teeth About DAPL Protesters

NBC finally covers the DAPL protests and interviews a local sheriff who says protesters are building pipe bombs, are trespassing and are causing violence — all of which are not true

The ongoing peaceful demonstrations by protesters at the Standing Rock reservation have amplified the local authorities’ use of pepper spray, batons and attacks dogs to scare off or inflict physical harm on protesters of the Dakota Access Pipeline project in North Dakota.

Today, Sheriff Paul Laney of North Dakota told local NBC affiliate KFYR-TV that there were reports of pipe bombs being manufactured in the camps of the protesters, yet he is the only person who has made this claim thus far. He also said that protesters were lighting things on fire, and while there seems to have been some fires on the location, no word has come out yet as to who was responsible, or if the fires were intentional.

Laney claims he asked protesters to “get off the private property, let’s go back to your camps and talk,” however, protesters say he never said any such thing to them.

His full interview is below:

It’s important to note that Laney has a history of referring to himself and other police officers as “warriors” and that they are “being hunted”, according to Say Anything Blog’s Rob Port, despite 2015 being the safest years for police officers in the U.S.

Ongoing coverage of the protests today can be seen in the live FB feed from user Atsa E’sha Hoferer below:

Ecuadorian Embassy Cuts Off Julian Assange’s Internet Access

The Ecuadorian Embassy in London has finally been pressured to silence one of the biggest whistleblower and media activists of our time.

In a tweet that got over 36k retweets early this morning, Wikileaks announced that CEO Julian Assange had his internet access revoked by a ‘state party’. Wikileaks later tweeted it was in fact Ecuador who had cut off his internet after the release of Hillary Clinton’s Goldman Sachs transcripts on Saturday.

Assange, who has been in refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for over four years now after Sweden issued a warrant for his arrest alleging sexual assault, has not spoken publicly regarding this recent development and it’s likely we won’t hear from him anytime soon. However, his Wikileaks operatives are carrying out what they call “appropriate contingency plans” and should not be faltered or deterred from Wikileaks’ planned weekly releases, said to continue until well past the election on November 8th.

Rumors quickly spread over the internet that Assange might have died, due to a series of tweets from the Wikileaks account late Sunday evening which included coded messages using sha256sum encryption, but a twitter account claiming to be the infamous hacker collective Anonymous explained to the public that these messages were not “dead man’s keys”.

Wikileaks later confirmed that Assange’s internet had been cut by the Ecuadorian Embassy shortly after the release of the Goldman Sachs speeches.

If this is the case, then what is the link between Goldman Sachs, Hillary Clinton and Ecuador? As it turns out, two years ago Ecuador decided to liquidate a substantial amount of gold bars worth $600 million through Goldman Sachs. The deal reportedly included a buy back within three years (2017) at the current cost of gold. The Ecuadorian central bank said they did this because keeping gold bars around in vaults required money for maintenance, saying

“These interventions in the gold market represent the beginning of a new and permanent strategy of active participation by the bank, through purchases, sales and financial operations, that will contribute to the creation of new financial investment opportunities.”

On the popular social media website, users of the subreddit r/Wikileaks have started a thread regarding the situation with a whole host of theories about the whereabouts and constitution of the infamous whistleblower, but nothing too substantial as of yet aside from reports that Assange “is fine” from those close to the embassy in London. A user from another subreddit supporting Donald Trump posted photos of the embassy and said there was higher than usual mail delivery on Monday, claiming to have spoken to neighbors about the activity and even snapping a few photos of government vehicles outside the embassy.

Meanwhile, the Ecuadorian government released a statement claiming that they are still protecting Assange and giving him asylum, “Ecuador will continue to protect Julian Assange and uphold the political asylum granted to him in 2012.”

The small country of Ecuador rests on quite the lucrative oil reserve at a whopping 846 million barrels of heavy crude oil right under their feet. Unfortunately, in order to dig up the oil, Ecuador would have to go through its extremely biodiverse and vibrant rain forest, one which is protected by various environmental advocacy groups. Ecuador’s oil reserves are basically untouchable for the time being and make the country have a hard time using it as collateral for their economy these days. This could be a good case for United States interventionists like Hillary Clinton to want to control Ecuador, considering it’s one of the few sovereign countries in the world who uses the U.S. dollar as its main currency.

Documentary Filmmaker Deia Schlosberg Arrested For Filming Dakota Pipeline Protest

Schlosberg is yet another journalist to be deprived of her right to freedom of the press at the now infamous Dakota Access Pipeline location in Walhalla, North Dakota where thousands of activists have been demonstrating.

On October 11, 2016, Schlosberg was arrested while filming protesters of the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline in Walhalla, North Dakota. She was charged with conspiracy to theft of property, conspiracy to theft of services and conspiracy to tampering with or damaging a public service, which altogether carry a maximum of 45 years in prison.

Within two days, film director Josh Fox wrote an open letter to US President Barack Obama calling for her release, saying, “The actions of the North Dakota Police force are not just a violation of the climate, but a violation of the constitution.” The letter was co-signed by thirty celebrities, including Neil Young, Mark Ruffalo, Daryl Hannah, Frances Fisher, and Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Fox also wrote that the young filmmaker had been held without access to a lawyer for 48 hours and had her footage taken by police as “evidence” in the fabricated case.

This event happened around the time that famed actress Shailene Woodley was also arrested, but a scarier event is the warrant out for the arrest of journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!. While Goodman isn’t a stranger to arrests during protests, the question surrounding the arrest of journalists remains clear: isn’t arresting a reporter who is simply recording an event as it unfolds the very definition of fascism? Ultimately, the objective is to shut down the reporting of the event, to suppress the reports of what really happened in order to control the information being consumed by the public. They did this in Nazi Germany in the 1940s and all throughout Eastern Europe in the first two thirds of the 20th century when communism got hold of the region.

Such actions by law enforcement come at a time when journalists all over are having trouble retaining their rights in order to do their job due to the strong influence wealthy politicians and corporations have over local police departments. The DAPL constructio, for example, not only has local law enforcement on their side, but private paramilitary police as well who have used attack dogs and pepper spray to deter protesters from stopping the pipeline from being built.

WATCH: Melissa Dykes Explains What Really Happened At The Democratic Convention

From white noise machines to isolated black outs and more, reporter and activist Melissa Dykes reviews all the madness of the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this summer

People have long suspected the Democratic Party of being corrupt and not really “of the people”, but reporter/activist Melissa Dykes didn’t expect to see the length to which the Democratic establishment would go to suppress supporters of Bernie Sanders. Of course, the DNC emails had been leaked by Wikileaks the Friday prior to the convention, but to see the suppression in action was something else altogether. As Dykes points out in her video, it’s almost surreal to see the extent to which the establishment insisted on shutting down democracy at their own convention.

Watch the video below from Dykes’ Youtube channel Truth Stream Media:

Common Confusion About Voter Fraud vs. Election Fraud Helps Rigged Elections To Continue

If you look up election fraud in any search engine, you’ll see numerous articles from mainstream media regarding voter fraud instead, making it difficult for the general public to understand the difference.

Election rigging, as I’ve stated in a previous article, is as old as democracy itself. Today, a major part of the problem with discussing the issue is the confusion the general public in the distinction between voter fraud and election fraud, and the mainstream media really doesn’t help.

From the New York Times to Politico to even PBS, the first results you see in Google for “election fraud” related queries are all from mainstream news sources referring primarily to “voter fraud” in the current 2016 presidential election and how it’s “rare” — and I’m inclined to agree. That’s because voter fraud isn’t primarily how the elections are being rigged. And the reason why it happens so rarely is because it’s easy to catch, so people don’t do it. But before we get into this in depth, let’s first go over the difference between voter fraud and election fraud.

The distinction is easily missed because voter fraud is a type of election fraud. Election fraud encompasses quite a few acts of election rigging. For example, voter suppression can be election fraud, such as the case of the 120,000 voters mysteriously purged from Brooklyn, NY this year, to which the New York Board of Elections said was “an accident”. Diane Haslett-Rudiano, the Board of Elections’ chief clerk, was suspended without pay for the supposed mishap, but the voters who couldn’t vote were not satisfied because it was such an obvious disenfranchisement stunt that it really should have been investigated as election fraud. Another form of voter suppression that caused disenfranchisement within the Democratic party this year was switching people’s party affiliation to independent or republican, some cases even involving forged signatures on the registration application. Again, this is a form of election fraud, but is not voter fraud, yet mainstream news continues to use the terms interchangeably.

Voter fraud is when votes are faked. An example would be, as Fox News’ Eric Shawn pointed out, absentee ballots being filled out by the same person on behalf of multiple people. In Shawn’s report, he actually spoke to people whose votes had been robbed and they explained on camera that it’s not their handwriting and that they did not fill out the ballots — this isn’t voter fraud, it’s . He also reported on vote bribery and unauthorized proxy voting. (see video below)

The most shocking form of election fraud also is not voter fraud: voting software that is rigged for a predetermined winner, otherwise known as electronic election fraud. And it’s become a major method of rigging both primaries and general elections.

In my interview with Ohio election fraud lawyer Cliff Arnebeck, he explained that there was a 25-33% difference between the exit polls and the machine totals. To make matters worse, the data that he and Bob Fitrakis, another lawyer from Ohio, had requested from the exit poll takers hasn’t yet been delivered. With only a couple months left before the general election, it’ll be surprising if their RICO lawsuit actually comes through in time.

What’s worse, however, is the latest anti-trump campaign that we’ve seen from Democrats all the way through the White House, with President Obama stating that election rigging is a conspiracy theory, an obvious attempt to discredit Trump as a kook. The fact that there’s a 100-page report proving all the forms of election fraud that happened this primary season shows that even the POTUS will lie to the press on behalf of his party, ultimately becoming a propagandist himself. This was in retaliation for Trump’s statements made recently that Democrats would exploit “weak identification laws” in order to rig the general election for Hillary Clinton. This may actually be true, considering all the evidence we have of a rigged primary, but it isn’t even the real issue we should be talking about, which is electronic election fraud.

I used to have a love/hate relationship with the mainstream media’s coverage of election fraud, but it’s recently turned to only hate. The Washington Post, for example, can give us an important piece about election fraud that is well written — that’s only 150 words long. Really, guys? A RICO lawsuit in the works regarding electronic election fraud and you can only come up with 150 words about it? They then bury it deep within the site, don’t promote the article, and focus more energy on writing articles about how voter fraud rarely happens and Trump needs to shut up about it. It also doesn’t promote an article like the one I’m writing here today to help readers understand the difference between the terms. I’m not even sure the outlet knows or cares, and what we’re left with is a fundamental lack of understanding that while voter fraud itself is rare, election fraud is running rampant and has been for quite some time. Our elections, based on the evidence we have since the 2000 Presidential Election, are getting increasingly worse in terms of election fraud.

Perhaps the worst aspect about this confusion is the fact that people keep saying election fraud doesn’t happen and then point to studies proving voter fraud is rare. This fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between election fraud and voter fraud is what continues the propaganda we hear from the Democratic party, who pushes for lax laws regarding voter identification at every turn. Lax laws, they argue, are to reduce racist voter suppression, but for some odd reason they never seem to want to talk about all the other forms of election fraud for which there is so much evidence of. At the end of the day, both the Republican and Democratic parties seem to engage in extremely dirty, dishonest politics in order to win, win, win, and all it does is allow criminals to become decision makers on behalf of the rest of us.

Zachary Paul
Zachary Paul is an independent investigative journalist living in New York City.

Justice Dept Says It Will End Private Prison System

U.S. Justice Department’s Sally Yates announced today that it plans to end its use of private prisons after DOJ officials concluded such facilities are less safe and effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government.

Sally Yates, the Deputy Attorney General, gave the announcement earlier today through a memo that tells officials to decline to renew expired private prison contracts, or to reduce the overall scope of the contracts. Yates wrote that the ultimate goal here is ending the use of private prisons for good. Reports the Guardian,

“They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security,” Yates wrote in her memo to Tom Kane, acting director of the federal prisons bureau, which had been published on the DOJ’s website earlier today before Yates tweeted that the “time has come” to “end the DOJ’s use of private prisons” from her twitter account.

This announcement comes as an answer to the cries of millions of citizens around the United States whose families have been torn apart by long prison sentences for non-violent crimes, a result of the profit motive behind privatized prisons in America. The subject had been a topic of debate throughout the Democratic primary and a point of contention with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who had helped to build up the private prison industry through her advocation of the bill that allowed the line between federal and private prison management in the 1990s.

Private prisons make a profit by offering a monthly cost to the government to hold each prisoner in their facilities. That cost comes out of a budget established by the DOJ that taxpayers pay into every year. Yates explained that the amount being paid to private facilities is simply too much for what society gets in return. It’s been argued for decades that people do not get rehabilitated in prison and often end their sentence only to receive another after being released as a more hardened criminal.

IRS Officially Investigating Clinton Foundation

While everyone was distracted by the Democratic Convention last week, 64 Republican congressmen’s request that the IRS investigate the Clinton Foundation was granted.

The IRS, a non-partisan government organization tasked with collecting taxes from U.S. citizens, has a special office for exempt operations like the Clinton Foundation, a non-governmental organization (NGO) who touts itself as the premier charity to the world. IRS Commissioner John Koskinen had referred congressional charges of corruption by 64 House Republicans on Tuesday, July 26th during the Democratic National Convention, which was too busy dealing with Bernie-or-Bust protesters and the Wikileaks dump of DNC emails the weekend prior to the convention. Clinton Foundation “pay-to-play” activities, a form of indirect bribery, seem to be the ultimate charge.

The request to investigate the Clinton Foundation on charges of “public corruption” was originally made in a letter to the FBI, FTC and IRS on July 15th this year, but only the IRS picked up the investigation. This could prove particularly difficult for the Clinton campaign for presidency after already dealing with an FBI investigation regarding Hillary’s email server for which she illegitimately used to handle classified information. The initiative is being driven by Tennessee Representative Marsha Blackburn (R) who serves as vice chairwoman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, which happens to oversee the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC also happens to regulate public charities with the help of the IRS. The IRS investigation could be the first step in getting to the truth about whether or not the Clinton Foundation is as corrupt as Hillary’s opponents have been asserting for years.

In the letter to the IRS, the congressmen charged that,

“The [Clinton] Foundation’s filings with the IRS for 501(c)(3) status appear to prohibit much of its current activity. The Foundation submitted its application to the IRS on December 23 1997. The description of its ‘activities and operational information’ notes that it would construct a library, maintain a historical site with records, and engage in study and research. No mention is made of conducting activities outside of the United States, which is one of the codes included in the IRS ‘Application for Recognition of Exemption’ in effect at the time (See activity code 910). As a result the Foundation’s global initiatives appear to be unlawful persuant to IRS guidance.”

Blackburn recently told Fox News, “There sure is a lot of money going through there and it seems the contributions would touch on Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. It is a hub of some kind of activity and let’s leave it to the IRS, the FBI and the FTC to discern exactly what that is.”

However, as Western Journalism has pointed out, the letter gives a solid starting point for investigation, beginning with Laureate International Universities, who paid former President Bill Clinton an estimated $16.5 million dollars over a five-year term to be Laureate’s “honorary chancellor” while USAID gave over $55 million in grants to the International Youth Foundation, a separate entity run by Laureate’s chairman, Douglas Becker, during the years od 2010 – 2012, while Hillary was Secretary of State (2008 – 2012). Bill Clinton recently resigned from his position at Laureate International Universities.

What may be even more damning of the Clinton’s crony capitalism at work is the Clinton Foundation’s connection to a Russian uranium company named Uranium One, the letter says. Uranium One donated several amounts of money adding up to around $23 million, according to an article by the New York Times’ Jo Becker and Mike McIntire, yet the Clinton Foundation never reported the donations.

But it doesn’t stop there..

Most recently, the Justice Department had indicted congresswoman Corrine Brown (D) of Florida for using over $800,000 in donations as a “personal slush fund”. Brown is also a super delegate who supports Hillary Clinton in Clinton’s bid for presidency and has been a member of the Hillary Clinton Leadership Council of Florida for some time now, and the House Republicans involved in this letter are using Brown as an example of someone who was rightfully indicted for misuse of charitable funds (it also doesn’t help that she had close ties to Hillary Clinton). In a parallel, but perhaps more largely scaled comparison, the Clinton Foundation received a reported $337 million in 2014 alone, most of which was received by foreign donors while weapons deals from the State department took place under Hillary Clinton.

100-Page Report Shows Staggering Evidence of Election Fraud in Democratic Primary

A recent report from Election Justice USA shows as many as 184 delegates were stolen from Bernie Sanders due to election fraud in the Democratic Primary

While it’s unclear whether the super delegates would have voted for Sanders, the EJUSA report does make one thing clear: Bernie Sanders won the majority of pledged delegates in the Democratic Primary at 2030 to Hillary Clinton’s 2021.

These numbers were arrived at by EJUSA’s intensive research and verification into claims of voter suppression, unintended party affiliation changes, heavy voter purging, and registrations never being honored by the Board of Elections in various counties throughout the U.S. during the Democratic Primary. In some cases, signatures were even forged on party affiliation documents and evidence of computer hacking being involved has come to light.

In the following excerpt from the executive summary of the report, EJUSA explains how as many as 184 delegates should have gone to Sanders:

Election Justice USA has established an upper estimate of 184 pledged delegates lost by Senator Bernie Sanders as a consequence of specific irregularities and instances of fraud. Adding these delegates to Senator Sanders’ pledged delegate total and subtracting the same number from Hillary Clinton’s total would more than erase the 359 pledged delegate gap between the two candidates. EJUSA established the upper estimate through exit polling data, statistical analysis by precinct size, and attention to the details of Democratic proportional awarding of national delegates. Even small changes in vote shares in critical states like Massachusetts and New York could have substantially changed the media narrative surrounding the primaries in ways that would likely have had far reaching consequences for Senator Sanders’ campaign.

For the executive summary and the full report, please visit Election Justice USA’s Facebook page regarding the issue. For posterity, we made a backup of the report as well. The original location of the report is on google drive.